Celebrate Chicago. You’re back in the Final Four. After 13 years away, the Bulls have a shot once again to get back to the NBA Finals after murdering the Hawks 93-73. You want to know how exciting last night was? It was by far the worst night of the playoffs. Atlanta never really believed, never really showed up to play. That’s bad news against the Bulls. Carlos Boozer (23 points, 10 rebounds) looked like a completely different player. He was aggressive and strong and seemed to make every jump shot he had. For the Bulls, he represents more than just their second-best player. He’s a barometer; when he plays well, the Bulls are nearly unbeatable. The problem? He has been Casper for most of the playoffs … In the third quarter, Chicago wouldn’t let Atlanta back in it. The Hawks weren’t doing the little things like running back on defense or defending the play all the way through, and Derrick Rose (19 points, 12 assists) was making them pay. Normally in the playoffs, Game 6 can tell you everything you need to know. If a team truly believes they can win the series and win the final game on the road, they come out fired up in their final home game. But if they don’t believe it, they often fold. Atlanta gave a lot of hollow hustle last night. They carried that into the fourth quarter where Chicago was making every fundamental play possible. The second half was never really close; you could see the end was closing in on Atlanta virtually all night long, and ESPN analyst Mike Tirico said: “The Hawks are a team that sometimes can play without the best basketball sense.” Ouch. While the Hawks weren’t exactly world beaters last night, they did finish the playoffs with six wins, which is about five more than anyone thought they would get … Josh Smith (18 points) must have some type of disease. How else can you explain his constant deep jumpers despite behind booed like we’re at some Chingy concert? Every once in a while, you’ll see him play like he did in Game 4 when he does things like this. But it’s fleeting. What if there was an opposite of this? Like if Kyle Korver thought he had a killer post game, would that be similar to Smith’s affliction? … Damn, Tom Thibodeau sounded like a wounded wolverine on the sidelines during the fourth quarter. Who would win in a singing contest: Thibs or Doc Rivers? Next time you go out to a restaurant, you should order your food in a Tom Thibodeau voice … Two teams, two separate celebrations. Yesterday, the Heat were celebrating like they had won a war while Chicago was so dull that Rose nearly fell asleep during the postgame interview. Are we mad at what Miami did? Not really. That was a big series for them, a huge hurdle. Ironically, if they are able to get by Chicago, we doubt their celebration will be as big. On the other hand, Chicago hasn’t lost in their last six visits to the Eastern Conference Finals, last losing in 1990. Of course, that team had Michael Jordan at two guard while this team has Keith Bogans. Chicago went 3-0 against Miami during the regular season this year, but so many people like the Heat. If Chicago does win, how many tears would be shed in the Miami locker room? Would all the players and coaches cry during the press conferences? Would it be as bad as when Ron Burgundy lost Baxter? We’ll find out starting Sunday afternoon. Just know LeBron has never beaten Brian Scalabrine in a playoff series … Do you like roller coasters? Do you like basketball? Are you weird? Then you will probably like this … Rick Adelman could become the next coach of the Lakers, or at least he’s the latest flavor of the month. Our money is still on Brian Shaw. But how funny would it be if they ultimately hire a former Sacramento “Queen” to bring them back to glory? … We’re out like Charlie Sheen on Two And A Half Men.
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